Sunday, 26 May 2013

Trees doing what?

Some of you may have noticed some recent blogs that show trees 'eating' signs attached to them ( is one of the blogs but I have also seen others.

This is my addition to the list, this tree fancied a handrail for its lunch!

I walked a stretch of the Warks Avon this morning that is new to me, it looks very nice indeed and a different river compared to my usual upper haunt, this section has everything, weirs, fast runs, slow deeper runs, snaggy sections, the lot. I am planning on fishing the stretch on June 16th, not until the evening until dusk, hopefully the banks will be quieter by then (who am I kidding) but there is so much to choose from I will find somewhere. I am currently having a 14ft power float rod made by Mick Holgate -  that will be ready in a week or so, the plan for the 16th will be a nice pacey swim with float rod in hand.
I am heading to South Africa tomorrow night for a whistle stop 3 day tour with work, Johannesburg, East London & Cape Town are being taken in before a 7am arrival back at Heathrow on Friday morning, I think I will be in need of some sleep when I get back home.

Friday, 24 May 2013

A quickie after schork

You may think that I have written this post after a copious amount of alcohol due to the spelling of the title but the word 'schork' is a hybrid of school & work. Josh and I had carried out our daily rituals in our school child and technical support managers roles and we wanted away for a couple of hours. I am jetting off to South Africa for a whistle stop tour with work next week and as he is away camping this weekend with his friend this midweek session was a chance to bond and fish and fish and bond before our time apart.

Kingfisher Pool was the chosen venue as it looked after us on our last visit and it is only ten minutes from home. We were on the bank and setting up by 6.15PM, Josh's rod (method feeder with rubber corn on the hook) was already set up so he was in and fishing within a minute of us choosing the peg. I set up a float rod using corn or meat on the hook with the hope of catching one of the mint Tench that swim in the Kingfisher waters.
A local angler Ian turned up to chew the piscatorial fat with us and it was Ian who actually notified Josh that he had his first bite of the night, Josh as usual was looking at everything possible except the bloody rod tip! After a hearty struggle Josh had a nice Tench in the net, a mint female about 3lb.

I was fishing by then, into a force 8 headwind, it was sunny enough but considering it mas mid May the weather was absolute pants, I really don't know what the score is this year but we really seem to be enduring some poor weather. The scary thing is the longest day is now only 28 days away but I have not yet had the pleasure of enjoying any fishing sit in a t-shirt.
Anyway back to the fishing, Ian had to make a hasty retreat to look after his son (hope Ethan feels better Ian) and it was as he left I caught a Roach/Bream hybrid about 8oz. Shortly after returning the hybrid Josh was away again, another nice scrap and a feisty male Tench hit the net.

I then brought my float a bit closer to the nearside reeds and within a couple of minutes my float was away, a great scrap ensued and it was my turn to net a nice male Tench of about 3 1/2lb.
There was no further action for me apart from Josh who had another fish that snapped his hooklink shortly after striking, the wind was increasing so we decided to retire, we had caught some nice fish in a short time so we were happy enough.
Moral of this story - School boy shows technical support manager how to catch Tench!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

First night under the stars

Josh has slowly covered most bases since I introduced him to fishing at the age of 4 but one of his outstanding requests (that I could guarantee anyway!) was to do an overnight session. After discussing it with his Mum and confirming that the chosen venue was safe enough the date was drawn and plans were made. The first stop on route was to get something to eat so we stopped at the services and Josh tucked into a Burger King to keep him going for the night ahead. Josh is starting to collect model aircraft and 5 currently hang from his bedroom ceiling but this Tornado was just a step too big!

On route to the venue we crossed the River Severn and by god it must have been raining in Wales earlier this week! The river had been in the fields as the picture below shows, it doesn't bode well for fry recruitment this year.

For those of you who use the River's web cam's to judge the levels you may have seen the life buoy behind Josh before.

We arrived at the chosen venue about 5.30PM and there were 5 cars already in the car park, all of the anglers I could see were fishing at the eastern end of the lake with a NW wind blowing over their shoulders, I knew previously that end of the lake and the far bank were currently producing Tench and it was the obvious choice BUT as this was Josh's first night session I didn't want to go too far from the car in case he decided on an early bail. We chose a point swim that as most point swims do commanded a fair amount of water, after a quick plumb around I learnt that after about 10 yards of water at 6 feet deep there was a bar of weed on the top of a steep shelf that dropped off to about 15 feet. The plan was to fish one bait on the bank side of the weed and one just over it on the start of the drop. Methods were method feeder with a 10mm flouro boilie & rubber corn and the second rod was an in-line feeder carrying maggot, caster & hemp with maggot or/and caster on the hook, fairly standard stuff and I was confident of catching as long as the Tinca's decided to visit......

The rods were in and the bivvy set up by 7PM and we could settle down, it was tight in the bivvy with 2 bedchairs but we managed to get them in as I had conveniently bought Josh a 3/4 chair until he gets taller!

Two of my mates joined us for the night and arrived a little after 7PM, Josh decided to stick on our bank and Dan made the yomp around to the far bank not far from where I had fished on my last visit, the anglers he walked past told of a few Tench between them so fish were being caught. The four of us settled down for the night, a few fish showing themselves on dusk but no signs on the alarms. The night passed relatively uneventfully apart from me spooking a rake of ducks at 01.30 that seemed to have congregated outside the bivvy to eat the bait that I had dropped during baiting up, I don't know who had the biggest fright me or them!  The weatherman also got it wrong as it rained from 11pm-4am but we were warm and dry in the JRC. I had set my alarm for 5am but was awoken at 4.40 to the loudest dawn chorus I had ever heard plus the sound of fish launching themselves from the drink all over the lake, a lot of them being Trout but there were also Carp mixed in there plus the odd Tinca. We fished through until 11am without anything to show for Josh and I, John also blanked but Danny's far bank swim produced a Bream and 2 Tinca's between 7-10am so good on him.  Josh also made a new friend with 'Wells' a jack Russell bitch that appeared from nowhere (just as I was cooking breakfast!)
The Tench fishing is still not as it should be we are still playing catch up after all, the weather this past week was down to single figures during the day but it now looks as though we are to get some settled weather. Josh enjoyed the session though so we are already planning further forays onto some river locations for the 13/14 season, watch this space.
Oh yes I nearly forgot, for you running water fans, 4 WEEKS TOMORROW!! 

Monday, 6 May 2013

Fly & Olive

Josh and I had a window on Saturday morning to get out so we made the two minute journey to our nearest river, the Sowe. This little sister of the Warks Avon does hold some jewels I am sure but access to a lot of the river is not easy due to overgrown banks and the location of the land where she meanders, loots of untapped potential! The area that we fished had provided a few Brownies to us in the past, plus Perch, Dace & Roach but when we caught the first glimpse of the pool that we had fished previously it didn't look too inviting, the EA had worked on the section last year, they had removed an old weir sill to create a cleaner flow to the river for both aqua needs and also the resident fish, since the work had been finished Josh and I had caught a few Browns but the winter floods had now levelled the playing field out and I could see every stone on the bottom of the river, no deeper area for refuge anymore, the haven had gone. We fished the first spot for 10-15 minutes but my heart wasn't in it so we waded upstream to the larger pool behind the pub, again we fished on, flies whipping all over the pool and also the branches behind us! but no takes were forthcoming and no fish were seen topping so we called it a day. I was aware that the EA were undertaking further work on the next weir downstream so we popped in to have a gander. The work so far looks like that they have re-directed the flow under the banking and back out again below the weir so again they have made fish movement the prime concern, the existing weir sits half empty and the old pool below the weir now contains a few ton of gravel. If the flow remains as it looks today it will provide a cracking peg as all the flow will be under your feet before it runs into the pool.

Flow re-directed above weir
Flow downstream from weir
New structure of pool
So the flies had been flung without any joy so the next session was aimed at catching some nice Olives, Tench. They had been slower to start feeding this spring due to the hard winter that we have just endured but they had to start some time, early sessions on a club reservoir had failed top produce the goods but today's venue was a different one, an old sand pit of almost 30 acres in a great location, blanking or catching would be a good day today but hopefully the latter would prevail.
I had a bit of inside info from to friends who had fished the previous day, the car park bank wasn't producing the goods at the minute so it was a good walk around to the opposite bank that was feeling the SW wind that had picked up so it all looked good on paper. I had an idea where I wanted to fish from along the bank, in the middle of the bank I was on there was a bar that could easily be seen in the margin at its shallowest, probably the old road used to remove the material from the site in its working days, I wanted to fish on the bottom of the bar as I thought it would be an obvious natural feeding spot for the residents, time would tell. The other issue was the water level, as we all know we had just the odd rain, hail, sleet & snow shower over the past 6 months and the level had risen accordingly, some pegs were underwater so swim choice was not a big one and it was a case of slotting in where you could. The area I wanted to fish to was reachable from a peg even though it was heavily overgrown with brambles so I had to do some pruning before dropping in there. It was a 2 rod approach today, LH rod was a heli-rig set up using an open ended groundbait feeder with mag/caster on the hook. I cast out 6 feeders to prime the spot and it was as the 5th load hit the water a fish topped next to it, at least something was home! The RH rod would be a fished using a method feeder and 8mm crab pellet on the hook. 
The first run came off the LH spot but the strike was into thin air, a fresh bait and feeder were duly cast out to the spot and before long it was away again, this time the strike was met with resistance as a heavy fish took line, I applied pressure to slow it down which it did and then I felt that horrible bump followed by zero resistance and the hook fell out.......On retrieving the rig the tell tale slime was present on the hooklink so I knew the culprit, I checked the hook and it caught on my nail so it seemed sharp, it was replaced all the same. It was the RH rod that went next and again it resulted in a dropped fish but this one fell off after a few seconds, again the short hooklink was changed but then I missed the next take on this rod.......... I was starting to feel wound up with this, it hadn't happened to this degree before on either set up and today I had missed two runs and dropped two, were the fish feeding in a finicky manner? All four takes resulted in line fizzing off the bait runner so how the hell was I missing them? The fifth run on the day was on the LH rod resulted in thin air and the hook missing, one minute they are finicky the next I received a bite off? What the hell was happening!
I swapped out the heli-rig and changed to an in-line blockend with again a short 3 inch hooklink. Within half an hour it was away and lo and behold after a decent tussle it resulted in a fish on the bank! First Tench from the water for me and weighing  in at 5lb 9oz.
5.09 Tinca (finally!)

It was the LH rod that went again an hour later and again this one hung on, a smaller Tench of about 5lb. I then sat through a quiet spell of an hour and a half before the final run of the day rattled off and after a dirty fight where the fish tried to snag me on nearside weed the best fish of the day was on the bank at 6lb 3oz, a long large framed fish that had a fair bit of filling out to do over the next few weeks. 
That was it for the day and I rue not changing the rig earlier, that would have resolved the missed runs on the LH rod but I also missed 2 on the RH rod, a strange day to say the least but not unusual to early season Tench fishing in my experience. Hopefully they will settle down into a more settled routine over the next weeks